So you fell in love with a lunatic?


When to look for a professional who specialises in rehabilitation to help you and your horse back onto the straight and narrow.

So often the heart can rule the head when you are out there buying a horse.  Perhaps you went to the local auction or saw a bargain and couldn’t resist.  Or you didn’t think to ask why this fantastic looking horse was so cheap.  There should be redress to the seller but sometimes that just isn’t an option.

Or perhaps your horse has been involved in a traumatic incident or you both have and things are just not going to plan: well certainly not yours anyway.

Whatever the circumstances the horse you want to ride just does not want you to ride it.  You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.  What do you do?

Horses are flight creatures. They are entirely reactive; they are not proactive. They do not plot and plan and they are definitely not secret assassins waiting to ruin your day.  If your horse has developed mannerisms which are making him difficult or even dangerous you MUST do something about it before one of you gets hurt.

The first thing is to check with your vet that there are no physical problems with the horse.  Horses can be incredibly unpredictable if they re in pain.  If the behaviour problem is down to pain you need to rectify this and then start from scratch when the horse comes back into work.

You need to check that it is not something you are doing; probably entirely subconsciously, as a reaction to an event or imagined scenario.  If you are feeling fearful or even just anxious make sure you find yourself a trainer who can help you regain your confidence.

If the horse is physically sound and you are riding him with confidence but you are still having problems then you really need specialist help and Horse Scout has a number of professionals who specialise in rehabilitating horses and will help you and your horse get on track.

Don’t expect instant results, rehabilitation can take months, even years. When you commit to bringing in an abused horse, you have to do it with the knowledge that it’s a long-term project, with no shortcuts, no one-size-fits-all solutions—and no real idea of how long the horse will take to respond. Some horses might be fine in a few weeks simply because they’re problem is being addressed and that puts them mentally in a better place, while others may still be struggling after a few years of kind, consistent, correct work. There can be no guarantees.   Which ever professional you turn to will have a fair idea of whether or not they can help.

You may be tempted to pass on this horse without further assistance so: As a cautionary note; you may have seen the recent headlines about the “Former Gloucestershire police woman admits fraud when selling horses through her equestrian business” She has now been arrested I am sure she never intentionally set out to start selling unsafe horses, however she broke the law by advertising horses who where known to be difficult without drawing attention to the fact.  In fact the Telegraph say “Carrie Vinson admitted to a friend that a horse named Fly had ‘a screw loose’ but falsely advertised him as ‘well-mannered’. She was handed a 12 months suspended jail sentence.

and was also ordered to pay £10,000 in costs and £2,000 compensation, and was placed on a tagged curfew for two months.  She asked for six other cases of fraud to be taken into account.  So don’t be tempted to sell on your problem take it to a professional who specialises in rehabilitation.

Horse Scout has a specific category for trainers who specialise in rehabiltiaiton.  Below are just two of them

For instance Rebecca Sedgwick in Hampshire who is a Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist. ACPAT Cat A member – BHS qualified – has BHS Intermediate teaching cert. & is an Intermediate Stable Manager with extensive experience in equine field from children’s ponies to top level competition/ racehorses – She has sound practical knowledge of all aspects of a horses way of going having trained and competed horses in affiliated Showjumping/ BE Intermediate level eventing and Advanced level dressage.

The best bit, from the point of view of rehabilitation is her approach.  Her assessment of the problem with your horse will start with a physiotherapy assessment and can assist with treatment of horses following injury.  She can asses performance problems and implement routine maintenance  programs specifically targeting your horses problems and offers rehabilitation services and also training for the owner in techniques such as long reining/ polework, etc. Rachel also can offer a rider biomechanical assessment to ensure optimum comfort and performance of horse and rider as a team.

Michelle Woolrich – Nantwich, CheshireI is an animal physical therapist, rider, trainer, coach, instructor, consultant. Qualified and experienced with BSc (Hons) in equine science using McTimoney, bodywork, sports and remedial massage, stretching and mobilisation, kinaesthetic taping, t-touch, myofascial release . . . and many more.

She can provide an individually tailored rehabilitation/training program that you carry out under our guidance with regular checks on progress to modify the plan and goals, to give treatments, provide support etc.

Rehabilitation – following injury, illness or surgery animals need time to recover, recuperate and to be brought back into a training regime gradually to reduce the risk of relapse and give the animal the best possible chance of full recovery. 3Using a combination of our musculoskeletal treatments combined with natural horsemanship techniques, and a gradually increasing exercise plan the animal is built up to it’s optimum athletic level. We aim to reinstate normal function by reducing pain, restoring range of motion and restoring strength by improving circulation, reducing oedema, loosening and stretching tendons, and minimising scar tissue formation. By doing it in this careful and structured way we aim to decrease re-injury rates and increase longevity. Tailored programmes are designed to suit the horses individual circumstances working in close relationship with your vet, farrier, any other members of your team and with any other therapeutic modalities.

These are just two of 14 trainers who specialize in rehabilitation who have advertisements on Horse Scout.  Check out our Professionals page and filter suing “Rehabilitation” as find a trainer near you who can help.